Thursday, March 19, 2009


Sit back, grab a cup of coffee, and get comfortable.  This 3 day/2 night camping adventure is a long tale.  Let me preface it by saying this was the first time I have EVER planned and carried out a camping trip for our family.  In fact, it was my first time to truly camp at all.  It all began with...

the arrival.   I knew what was waiting for us. But somehow, the reality of the screened shelter is a little more daunting in person.  And a lot less romantic.  Yes, it did get chilly at night.  Very chilly.  I worried about the kids staying warm, but everyone seemed to do fine.

A lot could be said for the view of the trees and lake surrounding our little shelter, however.  It was a beautiful spot.  A huge bonus was the absence of flies and wind.  

We rambled about unpacking for a while, then I started cooking my first meal.  I tossed some marinated chicken and veggie kabobs on the grill.  Success!

The kids thought their macaroni and cheese, made on the propane stove was wonderful as well. 

That first day we spent some time playing on the nearby playground, and also in the wooded area around our shelter.  We  found a large fallen tree near our shelter that made for good climbing and bouncing.

By evening, I was shocked at how dirty the kids were already.  Just look at the girl's knees!

We had a nice campfire and did what every camper must...roasted marshmallows.  Not that I am complaining.  S'mores happen to be my favorite part of camping.

We spent the next morning fishing.  It was a bit cold and windy. 

The hours of effort only provided one tiny fish caught by Nate.  I don't think the poor thing swallowed the hook (as if its mouth were even large enough to do so.)  I think he got caught on it while trying to swim past.

Lucas and I only fished for about an hour.  Then we hit the playground for some good old fashioned fun.
After lunch, we went on an hour long family hike.  We saw so many interesting things.  There were sign posts next to all different types of trees along the way.  Unfortunately we did not pick up a trail guide identifying the trees until after the hike.  Ooops.  I loved the areas of the path that looked like green carpet.  

Halfway through the hike we saw this long line of birds flying in a row just above the water on the lake.  It was the strangest thing.  The line of birds kept going, and going, for as long as we stood and watched.  Hundreds of birds all heading the same way right next to the water.  It's hard to see because it was so far away, but there is a black line of them just above the lake.

There was a nice shady area on the hike where the trees made an arch.  Pretty.

After the hike we had rest time and more playground time.  Then after dinner, we headed out for one more try at fishing.  We went to a different spot.  The kids were having fun practicing casting, but there had been no bites.  Suddenly, Ava's bobber went under, and it appeared she had caught something.  It also appeared to be a large something!  Cody had to help hold the line to keep it from breaking as she reeled in a 16" catfish.  

We all turned in early after our tiring day.  I don't have a photo of myself grinding my teeth in frustration as we were wakened at midnight by the noisy campers 2 shelters down from us.  We listened to their blaring music and loud voices for an hour until Cody finally went to get the park host at 1 AM.  It did the trick of shutting that party down, but I lay awake for several more hours.

The next morning we packed up and drove home.  Everyone enjoyed our time camping.  This is something we would like to do at least twice a year in the Spring and Fall.  If you had asked me even a year ago if I thought my family would ever take regular camping trips, I would have been highly doubtful.  But it turns out camping is something our kids love, and they constantly ask us to do it.  And even I, a girl who loves the comfort and convenience of home, enjoy camping.  The sound of birds in the morning as dawn slowly creeps over the earth, the canopies of trees above, the endless starry sky, the smell of smoke from the campfire...all of these and more draw me to an admiration and enjoyment of camping.


Anonymous said...

Great to see the pictures and hear about the camping. Tho as a child we always camped in tents.....none of that screened in shelter luxury! And took a while to get everyone's tent set up and bedding in place. We would camp for about a week at a time, either in the mountains or at a lake. Lots of fun memories and I know the kids will remember this for a long time. Can't wait to see them tomorrow and hear them tell me their adventures! carol

Rachel said...

I am SO glad you enjoyed camping! You know, I think I was about Ava's age when I caught my first fish. I think my parents have a picture of it somewhere. And maybe next time, you can try TENT camping! That is fun!

Lindsay said...

I loved reading about your adventure. I can't wait to start camping with the kiddos. I guess we are starting in May!

Kaitlin said...

I love camping! My family used to do it a couple times a year but we haven't gone in a while. I believe my first camping trip was when I was 6 weeks old. We used to go on a campout with my mom's dad & step-mom's family each year.

Quad Squad! said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed your camping trip! Jim can't WAIT for our kids to be old enough to camp!I look forward to lots of fun camping trips in our future too!